Doublade (Team Up TEU 108)
Doublade (Team Up 108)

– Team Up

Date Reviewed:
April 8, 2019

Ratings Summary:
Standard: 2.83
Expanded: 2.17
Limited: 3.00

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is horrible. 3 is average. 5 is great.

Reviews Below:

vince avatar

Tool Drop was an interesting archetype that could have been manageable were it not for some counters. I believe the first user of Tool Drop was Trubbish from BW Plasma Blast. The idea is to load up your Pokémon in play with Pokémon Tool cards since it does a set amount of damage that is multiplied based on how many tools you have in play. For Trubbish, assuming six Pokémon having one tool each, that brings it to 120 damage. This might seem decent, as Trubbish can 2HKO practically anything at the time, but sometimes it is not good enough. Another card from BW Plasma Blast is Sigilyph, whose Toolbox ability lets it to have 4 Pokémon Tools attached to that Pokémon, so that each Sigilyph with 4 tools is an effective 80 damage. The damage output can skyrocket m, and we haven’t even factored in other benefits those tools provide at the time. Evolite for tanking damage, Silver Bangle for extra push to reach certain numbers, or Giant Cape for increased HP. And we haven’t even gone through all the tools for the XY and Sun & Moon series. Trubbish could be dominating to join the ranks of other competitive decks.

That is, until the day XY FlashFire was released and contained Startling Megaphone.

We had some tool denial such as Tool Scrapper, disabled ability of Sigilyph, or even Rattata EVO, but none of them compared to what Startling Megaphone. This simple effect has a HUGE influence affecting certain deck styles. Having every single tool removed from all of your Pokemon means Tool Drop is a laughingstock of the Pokémon TCG, let alone reaping other benefits from any Pokemon Tool card. There were very few methods that recover item cards like Lysandre’s Trump Card before it was banned and Eco Arm, but they still make you work more to get those tools back. Both examples shuffle cards back in the deck, so you’ll need another card to fetch those. Adventure Bag seems to be the only reliable scavenger. With the continued existence of Startling Megaphone, Tool Drop variants have no hope in Expanded whatsoever.

So why does it have to do with today’s card? Because Doublade has the same attack, except this time, it does 30 damage for each tool attached to your Pokemon in play. There may not be Sigilyph, but there’s Genesect-GX whose Double Drive ability can allow Genesect-GX to hold two Pokémon Tools. With better damage scaling than Trubbish PLB and 8 Tools for 4 of your Genesects, and a Choice Band for Doublade, you’ll be able to achieve 300 damage, enough to OHKO anything. The attack cost of CC means a single Double Colorless Energy can easily meet the cost. However, as a Stage 1, it is not as fast as Trubbish, so you’ll have to hope to survive one turn before evolving. You can evolve it to Aegislash – that one from the same set has an ability that can soak 40 points of damage while being a 140 HP body – while maintaining access to attacks via Shining Celebi, but you’ll create more problems your opponent can present. Ability denial renders Shining Celebi useless, and anti-Special Energy exists in the form of Enhanced Hammer that can knock off Memory Energy. That doesn’t change what already happened previously prior to Tools being removed, so it was probably worth it for the Tool Drop user to deliver OHKOs.

After everything being said and done, despite anti-Tool cards posing a threat to this deck style, this is one style that I can have fun experimenting.


Standard: 3/5 (Somewhat less hostile format to revive that style of play)

Expanded: 2/5 (Startling Megaphone Trashalanche combo could be terrifying, but you can try to bait your opponent to using it by attaching fewer tools.)

Limited: 4/5 (Fairy Charm, Memory Cards, and Buff Padding may not help Doublade, but it still serves a purpose.)

aroramage avatar

Man I can’t wait till they come out with Sword & Shield. Now we’ll get to have the experience of eagerly anticipating Double Sword & Double Shield! Or they just call the sequels Sword & Shield 2, but that’s not nearly as entertaining.

Doublade is a Stage 1 Metal Pokemon, 90 HP, with a Fire Weakness, a Psychic Resistance, and a Retreat Cost of 2. The only attack he’s got is Tool Drop, which is fundamentally different from taking a large hardware bag from your dad’s closet and dropping it on the ground from some unknown height. It’s got more to do with the Tools in this game, where it will cost 2 Energy and deal 30 for every Tool in play, attached to any Pokemon.

Now I’m not too sure about this attack much at all. Certainly, Tools are an important part of the game at times, usually providing a means by which to KO Pokemon faster or to survive getting KO’d for longer. But how often are you throwing down multiple Tools into play all at once? It doesn’t seem that likely. There are some noteworthy exceptions – Pokemon like Klefki (STS) can actually transform themselves into Tools for the purposes of attaching themselves to other Pokemon and giving them different benefits, but for the most part, it doesn’t seem like Tools are that big in the competitive scene.

For the most part in Standard, Choice Band is the most common Tool of choice in most competitive decks. Some decks will also run other Tools, such as Counter Gain, Escape Board, even going so far as to include very niche options like Bodybuilding Dumbbells and Weakness Policy in very specific cases. Looking through some competitive decks, it seems to me that the common trend is to have about 2-4 Tools in total in one’s deck, with much of the Trainer space occupied by powerful Supporters and Items that help to further the deck’s strategy overall. The Tools are certainly useful, but generally speaking, they’re not the highlight of the deck – they just help to facilitate the strategy and make things easier.

So what does that mean for Doublade? Well, theoretically, it means your opponent is likely to have up to 2 Tools in play at any given time, which in turn provides about 60 damage. It’s a far cry from KOing anything the likes of Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, and it’s not going to be KOing anything on the level of a regular Pokemon-GX any time soon. For some other Pokemon, though, that aren’t on that level, it could be as much as half of their total HP, putting them into a dangerous 2HKO range. And considering you’re likely to trade out with your Doublade only costing 1 Prize, it looks pretty even 50/50. But then you start to consider what you can attach to your Pokemon – perhaps a Choice Band or Bodybuilding Dumbbells of your own – and it becomes clear that you have a good chunk of agency in how much damage Doublade puts out.

Normally in competitive environments, the most Doublade could do in theory is about 240 damage – with 4 Tools in play on each side of the field. The absolute max, of course, is closer to 360, but that would require every Pokemon in play to have a Tool of some sort attached. And chances are strong that that’s not happening. I’d keep an eye on Doublade though, in the event that a Tool-heavy meta sets in, since he can be teched into any deck alongside Ditto <Prism> to take advantage of your opponent massively over-extending – or just take advantage of your surplus of Tools himself!


Standard: 2.5/5 (it’s not exactly a friendly meta for Doublade right now)

Expanded: 2/5 (where other Pokemon can hit harder and faster for less effort or reliance)

Limited: 2/5 (but with the right set-up, you could boost his power greatly on your own)

Arora Notealus: Doublade represents a certain middle-ground in terms of card design, in that he’s got a move that’s perfect to use and has explosive potential, but it’s reliant on an aspect of the game that’s not entirely within one’s control. Indeed, it’s what makes Doublade a more niche pick in most circumstances, but he will have the advantage of access to certain Tools other Pokemon won’t be able to touch!

Next Time: It’s like a twofer, but spread out over two days!

Otaku Avatar

Another late CotD, so I should probably reveal that I injured my arm last week; not sure exactly what I did, but it is slowing me down and doesn’t appear to be healing quickly.  Still, it isn’t so bad that it constantly pains or inhibits me (yet), which is why I didn’t think it would be as much of a problem as it has been.  Now look sharp because we’re opening the week with Doublade (SM – Team Up 108/181)! This is a [M] Type Pokémon, giving access to some solid support while letting smack [Y] Types for double damage (due to their [M] Weakness). [M] Resistance is found on many [L] Types, but anti-[M] effects are almost non-existent. Not as great as some Types, but a good deal. As a Stage 1, it isn’t too hard to work into a deck but you will need extra space to do more than use it as Ditto {*} TecH. 90 HP is low enough Doublade is a probable OHKO, especially once your opponent has even a half-decent setup. At least it isn’t especially fragile on your Bench and (in Expanded) you can fetch it with Level Ball. [R] Weakness and [P] Resistance aren’t going to matter too often thanks to the HP and metagame. The Retreat Cost of [CC] is mediocre; assuming Doublade survives after being in the Active position, you can probably pay it but you might feel it, especially late game.

Doublade only has a single attack, “Tool Drop”, for [CC]. Tool Drop does 30 damage per Tool you have attached to all Pokémo in play. This means you could do as little as zero damage or as much as 1500 damage from its own effect alone… but that assumes a mirror match with decks focused on doing damage and not actually winning. Six Tools in play will do 180, which is roughly what you need to be competitive as your setup is somewhat finicky. Recycling Tools isn’t easy, especially in Standard. Your opponent has many ways of messing with your setup; anytime a Doublade gets KO’d you not only need to replace Doublade but whatever Tool was attached to it. The more Tools you run, the more you’ll have to cut elsewhere. Beyond that, you’ll need to worry about Bench-shrinking effects, Item-lock, Tool lock, and Tool discarding effects. These effects aren’t foreign to competitive play, and you’ll even find some or all of them in certain beatdown/control or stall/control decks; individually, they’re not rare but not quite common, so let’s label them as “uncommon”.

Can we make Tool Drop into a competitive deck? I’m not sure, but I think it can at least put the “fun” in “functional”… and this kind of deck has worked before, albeit only in spurts. Trubbish (BW – Plasma Storm 65/135) also knew Tool Drop, but it was priced at [PC] and only did 20 damage per Tool in play. Certain cards would release that would help and hurt it, resulting in brief resurgences… because the core strategy is very metagame-sensitive. Besides the concerns already mentioned, the deck also is likely to rely on Abilities. In Expanded, you’ve got Sigilyph (BW – Plasma Blast 41/101) and in both Standard and Expanded, we have Genesect-GX. The former has an Ability that lets you equip up to four Tools to it, the latter an Ability that lets you equip up to two Tools to it. There is also Entei (XY – Ancient Origins 15/98), which can also equip two Tools at a time but via its Ancient Trait (which I don’t think can be negated). These are how you can really spike the maximum damage, but also more safely equip your field stacking multiple protective Tools can make these cards more difficult to OHKO. If you’re wondering, that 1500 damage from Tool Drop is based on four Sigilyph and four Entei (or Genesect-GX) on your Bench (via Sky Field) and Doublade Active, and every Pokémon having the maximum amount of Tools equipped. I’m not only familiar with the modern version of this deck, but Adventure Bag and (if there’s an Expanded version) Eco Arm are both probably quite handy.

When it comes to the rest of Doublade’s Evolution line, there is some promise here. Honedge (SM – Forbidden Light 46/131) has an Ability (“Final Hour”) that triggers while it is Active if it is KO’d by damage of an attack from your opponent’s Pokémon. If all of these conditions are met, you get to place three damage counters on one of your opponent’s Pokémon. It isn’t great, but at least it discourages or punishes your opponent KOing Honedge before you can Evolve. Aegislash also offers some options, including “borrowing” Doublade’s Tool Drop attack via effects like that of Memory Energy. That Energy card will only cover half the cost of Tool Drop, so you’ll need another combo to be able to quickly attack with Aegislash. One such trick is why Aegislash (XY – BREAKpoint 62/122) or Aegislash (SM – Forbidden Light 49/131); Memory Energy plus Dimension Valley in the Expanded Format means they could use Tool Drop for just [C]. Aegislash (XY – Primal Clash 100/160) has an Ability which eliminates Weakness for all your Pokémon while the Ability on Aegislash (SM – Team Up 109/181) reduces the damage it takes from your opponent’s Pokémon’s attacks by 40. Either Metal-Type can also take advantage of Metal Frying Pan and/or Metal Goggles to reduce damage taken as well… and suddenly our “glass cannon” is made of rugged iron.


  • Standard: 3/5
  • Expanded: 2.5/5
  • Limited: 3/5

Still, I have not tried any of this myself; I’ve merely bumped into it once or twice on the PTCGO. It seems like most decks don’t have room to run the counters – or run them in enough numbers – to make Tool Drop untenable… but just fitting everything into the deck that you need might be the real problem. In Expanded, it is a similar deal. There are five Tools in SM – Team Up, but getting them reliably to the field doesn’t thrill me (assuming you pull them in the first place).

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